January 11, 2009 / 9:25 PM / 10 years ago

Obama to decide soon on bailout funds, Kerry says

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President-elect Barack Obama is expected to make a decision soon on whether to seek additional funds from the $700 billion financial rescue program, a Democratic senator said on Sunday.

President-elect Barack Obama speaks at a news conference to announce his appointees for CIA Director, former Clinton administration White House chief of staff Leon Panetta, and National Intelligence Director, retired U.S. Navy Admiral Dennis Blair, at his transition office in Washington January 9, 2009. REUTERS/Jim Young

Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, who was in meetings with Obama’s top economic aides and other senators, was pressed by reporters on the timing of a request for the second half of the money from the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

“It’s my understanding that the president-elect is going to make a judgment somewhere in the next hours,” Kerry said.

The Bush administration has been in talks with the Obama team about the possibility of formally asking for the money in coordination with the president-elect so that the funds would be available when Obama is sworn in on January 20.

Reporting by Jeremy Pelofsky and Caren Bohan

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